Grilling season is upon us, which means summer cookouts, burgers and barbecue, and long, warm nights in the yard. It also means it’s time to clean your grill. The same cooking process that makes those Instagram-perfect, flavorful char marks on your food produces carbon deposits on virtually every interior surface of your grill: the grates, flavorizing bars and burner tubes (on gas grills), and the firebox itself. Those carbon deposits aren’t just ugly; grease can stick to them and harbor bacteria, and carbon buildup can cause your grill to heat unevenly or prevent it from reaching full operating temperature, and burner tubes to fail.
New grills oftentimes come with pre-seasoned grates, however, for those looking to care for an old favorite or cast-iron grates with build-up of cooked-on drippings, follow these simple steps to completely re-season or maintain the regular care of your BBQ grill. Seasoning grill grates is not only a good way to care for and prolong the life your your grill, but ensures the food you’re cooking is free from carcinogens and at its tastiest every single time.
As for seasoning, most foods will taste great if you add just a little salt, pepper, and olive oil beforehand. That's the beauty of grilling: it's a fuss-free cooking method meant to elevate an ingredient's natural flavor without much elbow grease. That being said, if you want even more flavor, there are endless mouthwatering marinades you can add to your meat or veggies before they're barbecued. And if you're hosting a barbecue and need some simple summer sides, we've got tons here. Don't forget the rosé!
Certain practices can help discourage deposits of dirt and grease from forming in the first place. One method is to grease the grates of your hot grill with a little cooking oil right before your start cooking. In the same vein, scrubbing your grill grates with a raw onion is another tactic you can try. If you do have a grill brush without bristles, it's a good idea to scrape your hot grates both before and after grilling.
To achieve a crust on the outside while keeping the interior of the steak cooked to your liking, you need to have two different temperatures set on your grill. In order to get those nice grill marks, you need to heat your grill to high heat to essentially sear the steaks. To determine the heat is hot enough, you should be able to hold your hand about an inch over the grill grate for 1 second before it feels too hot and you must pull it away.
Clean the cook box. Remove the cooking grates and use a stainless steel cook brush to brush all the excess grease and debris from inside of the grill into the collecting bottom tray. Then, remove the bottom tray and throw out the collected grease and debris. Some of the debris will be loose and easily disposable, whereas other debris will be caked on. You might need to use a scouring pad or a sharp putty knife to remove the stuck on debris.
Outdoor grilling is a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy tasty food. However, the outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are a few simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on it always tastes great.